BHUBANESWAR: The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has disconnected 51,260 fake SIM cards in Odisha. The SIM cards were found to be non-bonafide and were disconnected after the concerned telecom operators re-verified.
The DoT has conceptualised and implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) based facial recognition tool called ASTR for telecom SIM subscriber verification. ASTR is used to analyse, identify and weed out fake/forged, non-bonafide mobile connections to curb the menace of cyber crimes.
The tool was used to analyse the combined subscriber database of all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in Odisha. As a result, 52,088 suspected mobile connections were identified. These suspected mobile connections were re-verified by the concerned telecom operators and as a result, 51,260 connections were found non-bonafide and disconnected.
The DoT has also blacklisted 2,417 point of sales (PoSs)/SIM sellers who were involved in such fraudulent activities. Police complaints have been made against these individuals for further investigation and necessary action.
The DoT’s action is a major step towards curbing the menace of cyber crimes in Odisha. It is expected to send a strong message to those who are involved in such activities.
The DoT has appealed to the general public to be aware of the dangers of using fake SIM cards. They should only purchase SIM cards from authorised dealers and should not share their personal details with anyone.
Fake SIM cards can be used to commit a variety of crimes, including:
Identity theft: Criminals can use a fake SIM card to hijack a victim’s phone number and gain access to their personal information, such as their bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and social security number.
Fraud: Criminals can use a fake SIM card to make fraudulent phone calls, send fraudulent text messages, or create fake online accounts.
Cyberstalking: Criminals can use a fake SIM card to track a victim’s location, listen in on their phone calls, or read their text messages.
Violence: Criminals can use a fake SIM card to make threatening phone calls or send threatening text messages.
If you think you may have been a victim of a crime committed using a fake SIM card, you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from fake SIM cards:
- Only purchase SIM cards from authorized dealers.
- Do not share your personal information with anyone, including your phone number, name, address, or date of birth.
- Be careful about what links you click on and what attachments you open in emails.
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Keep your software up to date.
- Be aware of the signs of a SIM swap attack, such as losing phone service or being unable to make or receive calls or text messages.
- If you think you may have been a victim of a SIM swap attack, you should contact your mobile carrier immediately.
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